6 Best Alternatives to the Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch isn’t for everyone. Aside from its modern design and frankly terrible battery life, there are a number of other reasons the Apple Watch may not be for you. For starters, it isn’t exactly wallet-friendly.

Fortunately, despite what Apple’s marketing department would have you believe, there are actually a number of great alternatives to the Apple Watch. In this guide, we will be looking at some of the best, including direct competitors, budget-friendly options, and luxury models.

So, if you’re an iPhone user looking to break away slightly from the Apple ecosystem, stick around, as we may have found the smartwatch for you.

Budget
best-budget-alternative-to-the-apple-watch
Fitbit Versa Smartwatch
4.7/5.0
Case: aluminum
Strap: silicone
Low cost, packed with features.
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Best Value
best-value-alternative-to-the-apple-watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch
4.8/5.0
Case: stainless steel
Strap: silicone
Premium design, decent features.
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Top Pick
top-value-alternative-to-the-apple-watch
Montblanc Summit 2
4.8/5.0
Case: bicolor steel
Strap: calfskin, metal, fabric
Excellent design, very feature-rich.
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Alternatives to the Apple Watch Comparison Table

Make and ModelSizeConstructionFeaturesBattery LifePrice
Samsung Galaxy WatchCase size: 46mm, 42mm
Case thickness: 12.9mm
Case: stainless steel
Strap: silicone
Activity tracking, sleep tracking, Bixby, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, one-way notificationsUp to 4 daysCheck Price
Garmin Fenix 5 SmartwatchCase size: 47mm
Case thickness: 15.5mm
Strap: 22mm
Case: stainless steel
Strap: silicone
Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sports modes, GPS, altitude monitoring, VO2 Max, one-way notificationsUp to 2 weeksCheck Price
Fitbit Versa SmartwatchCase size: 38mm
Case thickness: 11.2mm
Case: aluminum
Strap: silicone
Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, sports modes, altitude tracking, music storage and controls, one-way notifications4+ daysCheck Price
Skagen Connected Falster 2
Smartwatch
Case size: 40mm
Case thickness: 11mm
Strap: 20mm
Case: stainless steel
Strap: leather
Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, NFC, music storage and controls, goal setting, one-way notifications24 hoursCheck Price
Montblanc Summit 2Case: 42mm
Case thickness: 14.3mm
Strap: 22mm
Case: bicolor steel
Strap: calfskin, metal, fabric
Activity tracking, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, altitude tracking, one-way notifications1-5 daysCheck Price
TAG Heuer Connected
Modular 45 Smartwatch
Case: 45mm
Case thickness: 13.8mm
Case: modular
Strap: titanium, leather, silicone
Activity tracking, activity modes, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, one-way notifications25+ hoursCheck Price

1. Best Value: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Galaxy WatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Samsung’s smartwatch attempts have been a bit hit and miss so far. Their latest product, simply named the Galaxy Watch, is the brands first attempt to move away from the Gear series they had previously been working on. The question is, however, do the updates justify the name change?

Design

One of the most noticeable things about the Galaxy Watch is that it looks like a traditional analog timepiece. One of the biggest criticisms Samsung has faced in the past is that its smartwatches look far too futuristic. Their first smartwatch, for example, was essentially a mini smartphone with a watch strap.

This issue was addressed with the previous model, the Gear S3, however, with the Galaxy Watch, Samsung has gone one step further. What this means is you now get a device that will not only serve you well in a gym environment but will also pair nicely with a suit.

It comes in two different sizes, 46mm and 42mm, meaning that regardless of your wrist size, Samsung has got you covered. The 46mm will give you a larger display to work with, however, so it could be the better option for you if you’re eyesight isn’t the greatest.

The watch is also 12.9mm thick. This isn’t bad in terms of thickness, but you may still find it to be a bit bulky, especially if you have slender wrists.

As for the construction, the casing is made from stainless steel and the strap is made from silicone. Stainless steel is an excellent material to use on a watch, as it is not only durable and stylish but also very resistant to water corrosion.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters which is excellent if you are an avid swimmer. We wouldn’t recommend using the device for diving, however, as it is water-resistant, not waterproof.

Features

The Galaxy Watch also has a decent set of features including activity tracking, activity modes, sleep tracking, Bixby, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, and one-way notifications. It also runs Tizen OS, which is an operating system developed by Samsung and put simply, it’s fantastic.

With Tizen OS, everything just seems to be where you would want it, making the navigation feel effortless. This makes it an attractive option if you have found yourself getting frustrated with watchOS and WearOS on other smartwatches.

One of the standout features on this device has to be the activity modes. There are 21 different activities to choose from including mainstream activities such as running and cycling, as well as more obscure ones like hiking and Pilates.

You can also set the watch to focus on a specific part of your workout such as bench press to gather more detailed data. These modes work great if you are a casual user, however, if you are a serious athlete, they may not offer the level of analysis you are looking for.

The Galaxy Watch can also monitor your stress levels and prompt you with breathing exercises. It also gives you a stress score which could be useful if you struggle with stress on a daily basis.

Samsung has also included its voice assistant Bixby on the Galaxy Watch, however, at this moment in time, it is in no position to compete with the likes of Siri or the Google Assistant. For the most part, it is utterly useless and feels more like a rebrand of S Voice, rather than a new feature.

Battery life

One area of the Galaxy Watch that significantly trumps the Apple Watch is battery life. The Galaxy Watch will last up to four days on a single charge, meaning you shouldn’t find yourself charging the device too often. It also means the device is able to offer sleep tracking, a feature not included on the Apple Watch.

There really isn’t a lot wrong with this device. It has a great design along with an extensive list of features, however, Bixby is a real letdown at the moment, and Tizen OS still suffers from a lack of third-party support.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case size: 46mm, 42mm
Case thickness: 12.9mm
Construction: Case: stainless steel
Strap: silicone
Features: Activity tracking, activity modes, sleep tracking, stress monitoring, Bixby, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, one-way notifications
Battery Life: Up to 4 days
The Pros
Large display
Smaller model available
Durable
Stylish
Rugged design
Very feature-rich
Includes a heart rate sensor
Includes GPS
Includes NFC
Decent battery life
The Cons
46mm be too large for some people
Slightly bulky
No altitude tracking
Bixby needs improving

2. Garmin Fenix 5 Smartwatch

Garmin Fenix 5 SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Garmin Fenix 5 is one of the most powerful smartwatches available. It isn’t cheap but if you in the market for a multisport smartwatch that favors solid hardware over quirky interfaces, this could be a great option for you.

Design

The Fenix 5 looks much the same as the previous model, the Fenix 3 HR. However, one of the biggest criticisms the latter had was that it was too big. Garmin has addressed this by shrinking the Fenix 5 to a more manageable size of 47mm. This will still be too big for some people, but compared to the 51mm casing on the Fenix 3 HR, it is a welcome improvement.

This reduction in size has been made possible by shrinking the bezel around the display. This has improved the overall appearance of the device, giving it a more modern look. It has also allowed Garmin to keep the same 1.2-inch display from the previous model which received so much praise in the past.

The casing is made from stainless steel, giving the device an excellent amount of durability. It also means the watch has a nice weight to it which is often associated with quality. The bezel has also been finished off in a dark grey color, giving the device a very masculine look.

The strap is made from silicone and it provides a very snug fit which is useful during workouts. Silicone has the added benefit of not being porous as well, meaning it won’t soak up sweat.

One of the most impressive things about this watch from a construction perspective, however, is the water-resistance. The Fenix 5 has an incredible rating of 10ATM which means it can handle ten times the pressure at sea-level without letting water in.

This is the equivalent of being one 100 meters underwater. We wouldn’t recommend diving with it though, as moving water exerts more pressure than still.

Features

The Fenix 5’s feature-set isn’t the most extensive, but it does include many of the main features people look for such as activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, altitude monitoring, VO2 Max, and one-way notifications.

The watch includes a number of different sports modes as well, but the one that really stands out is running. Aside from all the typical information you would expect like pace, distance, and time, the Fenix 5 is also able to give live readouts on your performance condition. If you pair the device up with a chest strap, you can also get vertical oscillation and cadence data.

One of the things you will notice about the Fenix 5 is that its display isn’t quite up to the standard of most other smartwatches. It isn’t exactly a bad display but it has clearly been designed for function rather than form.

This will become increasingly apparent when using the various sports modes, as most of them display their information in black and white without any graphics. There are some exceptions such as the golf mode which has a nice graphic of a hole but for the most part, things are kept very simple.

The display also isn’t the sharpest. Lower quality displays are useful at conserving battery life, but if you have poor eyesight you may find yourself straining to read certain information.

Battery life

The Fenix 5 can last an impressive two weeks on a single charge, making it the best device, on paper, when it comes to battery life. Unfortunately, in practice, it is a different story, as using the device for anything beyond basic tasks drains the battery significantly. For example, if you plan to use the GPS along with a sports mode, you will be lucky to get more than 14 hours out of it.

If you are looking for a smartwatch that is going to give you detailed, accurate information on a variety of different sports, this is a superb option. For the rest of you, it is probably best to look at something else, as the display is underwhelming, especially for a device at this price point.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case size: 47mm
Case thickness: 15.5mm
Strap: 22mm
Construction: Case: stainless steel
Strap: silicone
Features: Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sports modes, GPS, altitude monitoring, VO2 Max, one-way notifications
Battery Life: Up to 2 weeks
The Pros
Large display
Strap size is universal
Durable
Stylish
Rugged design
Includes a heart rate sensor
Includes GPS
Includes altitude tracking
Excellent battery life
Best in this guide
The Cons
Might be too large for some people
Slightly bulky
No NFC
No sleep tracking

3. Best Budget: Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

Fitbit Versa SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Fitbit is best known for their fitness trackers, however, they have also produced a number of fully fledged smartwatches as well. The Fitbit Versa is the brand’s best attempt to date, offering a sleek, minimalist design with an impressive feature-set. It is also rather wallet friendly.

Design

In terms of appearance, the Fitbit Versa is the closest on this list to the Apple Watch. This may or may not appeal to you, but its squircle watch face as Fitbit is calling it is clearly Apple-inspired.

It’s a silly name but the design is a welcome addition, as it gives the Versa a much more refined look than Fitbit’s previous models. If you’ve seen the Ionic, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

The simplistic design also does well to draw your attention to the display which is both sharp and full of color. There is, however, a fairly large black bezel around it which, to be honest, is pretty ugly to look at. Unfortunately, cheaper smartwatches are often plagued by this issue, as it allows manufacturers to keep their displays smaller, cutting the cost of production.

The watch is well sized though with a casing that measures 38mm across and 11.2mm deep. This means you shouldn’t have any issues with bulkiness and it shouldn’t overhang your wrist either.

The casing is also made from aluminum which gives it a decent level of durability, however, stainless steel would have been preferred. The strap is made from silicone though which is good to see, as cheaper smartwatches often substitute silicone for TPU which doesn’t provide as much comfort.

The Versa is also water-resistant up to 50 meters making it suitable to wear while swimming. It’s also perfectly fine to use for a number of other watersports, however, diving, snorkeling, and other deepwater activities should be avoided.

Features

In typical Fitbit fashion, the company has made sure to include a wide range of features on the Versa including activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, sports modes, altitude tracking, music storage and controls, and one-way notifications. This doesn’t make it the most feature-rich device in this guide, but considering its price point, you are getting a lot of value for your money.

You, of course, also get access to the Fitbit app, which is arguably the best companion app available right now for smart wearables. Thanks to its intuitive layout and detailed statistics it expertly blends both form and function to give you a user experience not found on many other fitness apps.

Tracking your workout on the device is pretty straightforward. Simply navigate to the activity you wish to track by swiping left on the screen, tap it, and away you go. You will then be greeted with a tailored display of your vitals based on the activity you have chosen. These will be monitored throughout your workout, giving you instant feedback on your progress.

We are also pleasantly surprised at how well the Versa performs under water. The display remains clear and bright even when submerged and navigation is still possible, albeit with less accuracy, especially on swipes. This places the Versa among the best smartwatches we’ve seen when it comes to water use.

One thing that is missing from this device is onboard GPS. This is disappointing to see, as many of the Versa’s other features such as the activity tracking and sports modes, would have been able to do a lot more if GPS had been included.

Battery life

The Versa has a battery life of at least four days which basically means you’ll get four days out of it. If you’re really conservative with your usage you might get a bit more, but from our experience, this is rarely the case. Also, considering this is a Fitbit device we were expecting a bit more.

It might not have the most premium design or the longest list of features, but for the money, this is an excellent little smartwatch. All of the features work flawlessly and the added bonus of its underwater performance make it a great buy if you’re a swimmer.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case size: 38mm
Case thickness: 11.2mm
Construction: Case: aluminum
Strap: silicone
Features: Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, sports modes, altitude tracking, music storage and controls, one-way notifications
Battery Life: 4+ days
The Pros
Large display
Should fit well on most people
Durable
Stylish
Excellent feature-set
Includes a heart rate sensor
Includes sleep tracking
Includes altitude tracking
Decent battery life
The Cons
Stainless steel would have been preferred
No GPS
No NFC
Expected more from a Fitbit device

4. Skagen Connected Falster 2 Smartwatch

Skagen Connected Falster 2 SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Skagen Falster 2 is less focused on features and more focused on style. This is a smartwatch that aims to be a fashion statement first and foremost, with its feature-set serving as more of an additional extra.

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but if you are more concerned with what a smartwatch can do, this may not be the best option for you. Alternatively, if you share a similar philosophy to Skagen, you might find this device to be perfect.

Design

Skagen has always been praised for its attention to detail with its watches and the Falster 2 is no exception. Its Danish-inspired design is stunning and, unlike on some smartwatches, it is clear to see that all of the components have been crafted with complete precision.

It has a compact design with a casing that measures 40mm in diameter. It is also only 11mm thick, making it one of the most slender devices in this guide. The bezel is equally slender as well, allowing the Falster 2 to maintain a large display, despite its compact form factor.

The casing is made from stainless steel which is nothing less than you’d expect on a premium Skagen watch. This high-quality material gives the device an excellent level of durability. It also adds a bit of weight as well, giving the watch a luxury feel.

The strap is made of leather and comes in a tanned brown color. This is great news if you plan on pairing the watch with a suit, however, for everyday use, you might want to invest in a silicone strap as well. If you plan to do a lot of fitness a silicone strap is a must, as leather straps are notorious for soaking up sweat and discoloring as a result.

The watch is also water resistant up to 30 meters which isn’t bad, but you should probably only use the device for surface swimming. This is because moving water exerts more pressure than still water, meaning that underwater swimming could potentially damage the device.

Features

As mentioned, Skagen is a company that focuses on style above anything else. However, the Falster 2 does still have a fairly impressive set of features including activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, NFC, music storage and controls, goal setting, and one-way notifications.

There is one downside to this device in the fact that it uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset. This processor is a few years old now and, as a result, it struggles to keep up with the modern versions of WearOS. It shouldn’t be a deciding factor, but you may notice lag when navigating through the watches various menus.

As a WearOS device, you get the same interface as many other quality smartwatches are now sporting. You also have access to Google Assistant which can be a great tool if you’re unable to interact with the watch using your hands, such as during an activity.

If you’re an iPhone user you will have to keep the WearOS app running in the background to receive notifications. This is pretty frustrating as it will slowly use up your phone’s battery. You also can’t use iMessage through it. The feedback from Google Fit is also limited on iOS, but you can get around this by installing third-party apps such as Strada instead.

Battery life

Put bluntly, the battery life on the Falster 2 is poor. On a single charge, you will only be able to get a day out of this device at most, which, compared to the other products in this guide, is awful. It also means there is no sleep tracking available, as the watch would likely run out of power in the night, especially if used 24/7.

If sleep tracking isn’t important to you, the poor battery life might not be an issue, as you can simply charge the device whenever you charge your phone. Also, somewhat surprisingly, the Falster 2 still manages to beat the Apple Watch in this department, as that device is only able to offer 18 hours of power.

If you are looking for a smartwatch that offers a professional level of analysis when it comes to your workouts, this isn’t the one. However, if instead you simply want a classy timepiece that has enough features to function as an activity tracker when needed, this is about as good as it gets.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case size: 40mm
Case thickness: 11mm
Strap: 20mm
Construction: Case: stainless steel
Strap: leather
Features: Activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, GPS, NFC, music storage and controls, goal setting, one-way notifications
Battery Life: 24 hours
The Pros
Large display
Should fit well on most people
Durable
Stylish
Excellent feature-set
Includes a heart rate sensor
Includes GPS
Includes NFC
The Cons
Stainless steel would have been preferred
No sleep tracking
Battery life is less than impressive
Will need to be charged often

5. Top Pick: Montblanc Summit 2

Montblanc Summit 2View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Thanks to the surge in popularity that smartwatches have had, luxury watch brands have no choice but to get involved in the hype. The Montblanc Summit 2 is arguably the best luxury smartwatch available right now, and although pricey, it offers an excellent alternative to the Apple Watch.

Design

The first thing you will notice about the Summit 2 is that it oozes class from every angle. This is to be expected of a Montblanc product, of course, but the company deserves a lot of credit for the way it has managed to blend modern technology with traditional sophistication.

The watch is also pretty well sized with a casing measuring 42mm across and 14.3mm deep. This means it should fit most wrists comfortably, however, the thickness may be an issue for some of you, as it will add a degree of bulkiness.

The casing is made from bicolor steel which is extremely durable and resistant to water corrosion. If you were expecting a titanium casing you’re not alone, however, given the fact this device will be used for fitness training, steel makes more sense, as it doesn’t scratch as easily.

There are multiple options available when it comes to the strap including calfskin, metal, and fabric. Aesthetically, calfskin is probably your best bet as it complements the rest of the watch perfectly. If, however, you plan to use the device while exercising, the fabric is a better choice, as it can be washed properly if you get too sweaty.

The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters so swimming with the device on isn’t a problem. As with all the smartwatches in this guide, however, we wouldn’t recommend diving with it, as we can’t guarantee it would survive.

Features

One of the things that often turns people away from luxury smartwatches is the fact that they aren’t as feature-rich as their tech-branded counterparts. This isn’t the case with the Summit 2, however, as it has a very impressive set of features including activity tracking, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, altitude tracking, and one-way notifications.

Like most luxury smartwatches, the Summit 2 also uses WearOS, meaning it has access to Google Assistant and Google Pay. it also uses the Google Fit app, meaning its activity tracking abilities are very similar to any other WearOS device.

Bizarrely, however, the Summit 2 uses a separate built-in heart rate monitoring app which doesn’t sync to Google Fit. This isn’t much of an issue, but it does impact convenience a little.

There are a number of other apps packed into the Summit 2 as well. One of the best is World Timer which lets you use the device’s rotating crown to scroll through a world map to see different time zones.

The Travel Info app is also useful if you regularly visit other countries. It offers a range of information on the country you’re in such as basic words and phrases to help you communicate as well as some helpful do’s and don’ts.

Battery life

The battery life on the Summit 2 is decent but we were expecting more, given its high price tag. It has the potential to last up to five days but this is only possible with conservative use which kind of defeats the purpose of having a smartwatch.

Yes it is pricey and yes the battery life isn’t great, but they are really the only issues with this device. The design and construction are simply exquisite and its diverse set of features blow every other luxury smartwatch out of the water.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case: 42mm
Case thickness: 14.3mm
Strap: 22mm
Construction: Case: bicolor steel
Strap: calfskin, metal, fabric
Features: Activity tracking, GPS, NFC, heart rate monitoring, altitude tracking, one-way notifications
Battery Life: 1-5 days
The Pros
Large display
Should fit well on most people
Strap size is universal
Durable
Stylish
Premium construction
Decent feature-set
Includes a heart rate sensor
Includes GPS
Includes NFC
Includes altitude tracking
Decent battery life
The Cons
Thickness may make it too bulky for some people
No sleep tracking
Will need to be charged often

6. TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Smartwatch

TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

As one of the most renowned watch brands on the planet, it was only a matter of time before Tag Heuer tried its hands at a smartwatch. The Connected 45 represents their best attempt so far and, despite not being overly feature rich, it does boast some rather interesting design elements.

Design

The Connected 45 features a modular design which allows you to upgrade various parts of the device without needing to replace the entire unit. This is an excellent feature to have, considering how pricey this device is. It also means you can customize the device in a number of different ways and set it up for different scenarios.

For example, if you are going to use it for a workout, you will probably want to attach the silicone strap and apply the aluminum casing. However, if you are off to a fancy meal, the ceramic or titanium casing will probably be a better option as they will provide a more premium look. You will also probably want the change the strap as well.

Buying all of these different options will, of course, set you back a lot of money, but if luxury watches are your thing, this might not be a concern to you.

The ‘45’ in the watches name refers to the diameter of the casing which is 45mm. This makes the watch rather large, however, there is also a 41mm version available as well. The casing on the Connected 45 is also 13.8mm thick, which could make the device rather bulky to wear, given its chunky design.

Water-resistance is pretty good though, as the device is able to withstand pressure in up to 50 meters of water. This, of course, makes it perfectly fine to swim with but anything more than this should be avoided.

Features

As mentioned, the Connected 45 doesn’t the most extensive list of features but it does include most of the essentials such as activity tracking, activity modes, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, and one-way notifications.

The notable absentees are heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Given the device’s poor battery life, we were never expecting to see sleep tracking, however, the lack of a heart rate monitor is somewhat surprising.

Unfortunately, this tends to be the case with a lot of luxury smartwatches, as Swiss manufacturers focus much more on the construction and appearance of their devices, rather than the functionality.

Some will argue that this is fine, as you are buying these watches, primarily, for the brand name. However, given how well Montblanc has done to include so many features on their smartwatches, we feel there isn’t much of an excuse for other high-end brands not to.

It is nice to see both GPS and NFC on this device though, as it means you will still be able to get a lot of use out of this device even without the heart rate sensor. Like the Summit 2, this watch also uses WearOS, meaning you can use Google Pay and the Google Fit app.

Battery life

Another area of this device that is rather disappointing is the battery life. Tag Heuer has said the Connected 45 will last for 25+ hours. As is the case with the Fitbit Versa this most likely means you will only get 25 hours out of the device.

If you are really conservative with it you might be able to squeeze a couple more hours out of it, but this is a smartwatch and the chances are you will want to make use of that.

From a design perspective, this device is outstanding. Its modular design is refreshing and useful and its luxury components are stunning. The main issue, however, is that as a smartwatch, it doesn’t quite stack up against the other products in this guide.

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Tech Specs
Size: Case: 45mm
Case thickness: 13.8mm
Construction: Case: modular
Strap: titanium, leather, silicone
Features: Activity tracking, activity modes, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, one-way notifications
Battery Life: 25+ hours
The Pros
Large display
Smaller version available
Durable
Stylish
Premium construction
Has a modular design
Includes GPS
Includes NFC
The Cons
Thickness may make it too bulky for some people
No sleep tracking
No heart rate sensor
No altitude tracking
Battery life needs improving
Will need to be charged often
0/50 ratings